Compare that to my car which is a 1992 Toyota Camry. It has 237K miles on it with moderate cosmetic defects. It is an automatic transmission, power windows, locks, and mirrors, but without a working radio or cassette player. The mechanical troubles start with leaking brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant (I already paid several hundred dollars to fix the leaking oil, meh). The gas mileage seems to have dropped dramatically recently and there is a constant smell of gas. The brakes/wheels seem to slip when I have to stop quickly. I have to top off or refill various fluids at least once every week or two. The further I go than just to work (~6 miles) the more likely it is to overheat (yes, the fan turns on). The rear passenger side handle is partially shattered on the outside.
The only advantages the Camry has over the Escort is ... is... it's already paid for? It's bigger?
I'm not willing to pay 10,000$ for a car and this seems like a good alternative to getting more dependable transportation.